I am a bargain hunter. I love thrifting especially for my kids’ toys and Japan offers so much when it comes to thrifting kids’ stuff. If you are a Momma in Japan or visiting Japan and want to check out the best places to get used kids’ toys then this post is for you!
Recycle Shops (リサイクルショップ)
The best used toys that I got for my kids are bought from recycle shops. In Japan, thrift shops/second hand shops are called recycle shops. The most famous recycle shops in Japan are the “Off” shops. They are a chain of shops namely Book Off, Hard Off, Off House, Mode Off and Liquor Off. If you are looking for kids toys and clothes, check out your nearby Book Off (they don’t just sell books!) and Hard Off/Off House. The one that I often visit is a Hard Off and an Off House in one. The first floor has women’s used clothes, shoes, and bags (branded ones like LVs are available too); used plates and china and a whole selection of kids’ toys, clothes, strollers, high chairs, and whatnot. The toys are cleaned by the staff prior to selling and if there are some missing pieces, it is usually written outside the packaging. I like buying wooden toys here as it’s almost always looking brand new and the price is a third (or even less) of the original price!
Another chain of shops that sells used kids’ stuff is Kid’s Angel (きっずえんじぇる). This chain of shops sells only used kids’ stuff. They have everything from toys, clothes, strollers, bicycles, japanese children’s books, puzzles to trains. They always have great deals especially for Sylvanian Families dollhouse and accessories. I find their children’s clothes to be cheaper than hard off and they also sell branded kid’s clothes if that’s what you’re looking for. Visit their website to find more information and a branch near you.
Second street is another chain of shops around Japan that sell used stuff. They mainly sell used clothes, bags, and shoes but some branches sell used children’s clothes and toys too. To make sure that the branch you want to visit has toys, you can try calling the branch before visiting.
Treasure Factory is famous for used furniture and home appliances but they usually have a small spot for used children’s toys. This is where we bought my son’s Ikea wooden play kitchen with lots of pots and pans for ¥6000. Check out their website for more information.
If you live outside the Kanto area, looking for recycle shops with great selection can be difficult. If that’s the case, online shopping is your best shot in getting second hand deals. We used to live in Sapporo, Hokkaido and most of my eldest son’s second hand toys were bought online.
There are many facebook selling groups here in Japan. The members from these groups are usually foreigners and a big plus is they sell items from brands that are often not famous here in Japan. The one where I got most of our used toys when we were living in Hokkaido is Japan Garage Sale – All Things Kids. This group offers buying and selling all over Japan and not just marketed towards a certain area. The downside is that you have to pay for the shipping fee most of the time but as long as you are buying not so bulky and heavy stuff, shipping fee is usually reasonable. You can easily join this group after following the guidelines set by the admin.
Another Fb group that allows buying and selling nationwide as long as you are willing to pay for shipping is Tokyo Garage Sale – Kids Items. Although the name says Tokyo, they allow shipping to other areas.
If you live in Tokyo or around Tokyo area (Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa), here are some Fb groups I recommend joining: Tokyo Garage Sale – Pick Up Only and Tokyo Sayonara Sales. Although not exclusively for kids items, kids stuff are usually posted.
One way to score used children’s toys for free is through Mottainai Japan and Tokyo Exchange Group (Baby Things). Mottainai Japan is not exclusively for kids stuff and they often prefer for you to pick up their items, but you can always ask if they agree for chakubarai (COD). Tokyo Exchange Group (Baby Things) is a great group to get free baby stuff, posters sometimes ask for chocolates or fruits in return. It is also a trading group where you can trade the stuff you don’t need for items you do need. Great way to dispose stuff that your child has outgrown and at the same time get stuff for his/her current needs.
Mercari (メルカリ) App
Mercari is a shopping app here in Japan where you can buy just anything under the sun. Seriously, it has everything! They have a great selection of used children’s items from wooden toys to clothes, shoes and books. Most sellers are Japanese and they ship nationwide. The app is in Japanese though, so you need help if you can’t read kanji. In my experience, setting up your account is a bit complicated but once everything is set, shopping is as easy as clicking the buy button. The prices usually include shipping but better double check before buying!
You can also check out Tokyo Craigslist or Yahoo Auction but I personally haven’t tried buying from them.
I hope this list will be helpful for you in trying to hunt for used toys. I personally love buying used things here in Japan as Japanese people take care of their things so well that the things that I buy are almost always in great condition. I hope you score great deals and happy shopping! If you find great deals, please tag me on my instagram (@momma_in_japan).